Friday, October 21, 2005

Screw the displaced - where's my supper?

This is unbelievable. Apparently, according to a Friday article in the Seattle Times, our illustrious former FEMA director couldn't act on the Superdome situation because he hadn't finished his dinner.

"As Katrina's outer bands began drenching the city Aug. 28, Bahamonde [New England's regional director of FEMA, sent to New Orleans to assess the situation] sent an e-mail to Deborah Wing, a FEMA response specialist. He wrote: 'Everyone is soaked. This is going to get ugly real fast.'

"Subsequent e-mails told of an increasingly desperate situation at the New Orleans Superdome, where tens of thousands of evacuees were staying. Bahamonde spent two nights there with the evacuees.

"On Aug. 31, Bahamonde e-mailed Brown to tell him that thousands of evacuees were gathering in the streets with no food or water and that 'estimates are many will die within hours.'

"'Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical,' Bahamonde wrote. 'The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out.'

"A short time later, Brown's press secretary, Sharon Worthy, wrote to colleagues, in an e-mail containing numerous misspellings, to complain that the FEMA director needed more time to eat dinner at a Baton Rouge restaurant that evening. 'He needs much more that 20 or 30 minutes,' Worthy wrote.

"'Restaurants are getting busy," she said. 'We now have traffic to encounter to get to and from a location of his choise, followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you.'

"'OH MY GOD!!!!!!!" Bahamonde messaged a co-worker. "I just ate an MRE [military rations] and crapped in the hallway of the Superdome along with 30,000 other close friends so I understand her concern about busy restaurants.'"

Could the privleged and the powerful be further out of touch with life in the other America? News flash: we're not better or worse than anyone else. We have serious problems, and none of them will be resolved if we can't even acknowledge that something's gone wrong. Our nation was founded as an experiment; experiments fail every day. There's no reason that ours has to, unless we're hellbent on sabatoging the results...sure seems like it...

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